Yukon hunters will have to keep four regulation changes in mind as the 2019-20 hunting season opens later this week.
The Yukon government listed the changes in a press release July 30, two days before the opening of the season.
The changes include a requirement for deer hunters to deliver the whole hide and head, with antlers attached, to a conservation officer or wildlife technician no later than 15 days after the end of the month the animal was harvested.
As well, an emergency sheep hunting ban is in place for game management subzone 5-21 between the Slims River and Congdon Creek, which is an area immediately adjacent to Kluane National Park and Reserve. Sheep that normally reside in the park are crossing the Alaska Highway into a normally unprotected zone to access grass growing on the banks of Kluane Lake.
This is the fourth year the government has had to put the emergency ban in place for that reason.
The boundaries of game management zones 5, 6 and 7 have also changed so that they now follow the centre lines of the Alaska and Haines highways.
Finally, online harvest reporting is not available this year, and hunters will have to revert to the old methods of report — either in-person at a Environment Yukon office or by calling it in.
As previously reported by the News, a glitch discovered with the online harvest reporting system last year led to Environment Yukon temporarily nixing the service for this season.
Although not explicitly mentioned in any Yukon government materials this year, officials with the Ross River Dena Council (RRDC) told the News last year that it intends to enforce its own hunting permit system again during the 2019-20 season.
In 2018-19, the First Nation required all non-Kaska hunters in the Ross River area to obtain a permit from RRDC before harvesting. The Yukon government does not recognize the RRDC’s permit, and Chief Jack Caesar has not responded to the News’ numerous requests for comment over the past two months on this hunting season.
“We remind all hunters that conservation and cooperation should be a priority when out on the land. No matter where hunters are in Yukon they are on a First Nation’s or Inuvialuit traditional territory,” the Yukon government’s press release says.
“Hunters are asked to please respect the land, other hunters and the wildlife that is harvested. Take only what is needed and use all that is taken. Keep a clean camp, pack out what is brought into the backcountry, stay on established trails and don’t use cabins without permission.”
More than 4,700 people applied for the 223 permits available during this season’s permit hunt authorization lottery. The permits cover six species — caribou, deer, elk, goat, moose and sheep.
Contact Jackie Hong at email@example.com